tv NBC Nightly News NBC August 16, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
up next and more local news on nbc bay area news at 6:00. >> we'll see you then. have a good one. on this sunday night, firefight. thousands evacuated and hundreds of homes threatened as wildfires rage as firefighters from across the country join in the fight. what went wrong? more than 50 feared dead tonight after a plane apparently flies into a mountain. trump's agenda. his plan on immigration and other key issues laid out in our exclive interview. fighting isis. not with guns and bombs but with positive words and images aimed at young muslims. and remembering julian bond. the civil rights leader, former head of the naacp, and passionate voice for equality. "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news world
headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news." reporting tonight, erica hill. tonight, nearly every firefighter in this country is on call. as more than 100 large uncontained fires burn. invoking the nation's highest fire alert level, 5, is a sign of both the need and the scope of this fire season. in the west, triple-digit temperatures and drought are fueling the blazes. many of them triggered by lightning strikes. washington state has seen a rash of new fires, just since early friday, reducing dozens of homes to ashes and forcing thousands to evacuate. some making it out with barely a moment to spare. nbc's gadi schwartz is in washington for us tonight. gadi? >> reporter: well, erica, this fire is now 60,000 acres. and as it roared down that mountainside, it incinerated cars and homes alike. it is only 1% contained tonight. and for the 450 firefighters who are out here in the fire lines, it's only going
to get worse. a small resort town surrounded by fire, and residents here are traumatized by the devastation. >> it was heartbreaking. it -- i don't like to -- i mean -- i'm standing in my backyard. i'm looking at this whole hillside. and people that we know, that we love, i'm getting phone calls from people saying can you see if my house is on fire? >> reporter: the battle to protect homes in washington is fierce. the national guard called in to make water drops after thousands were forced to evacuate. but so far only 50 to 100 homes and buildings are believed to have been destroyed. >> hard to see this. >> reporter: all that's left of this house is a chimney and its foundation and families like this one trying to find what's most important to them. >> trying to look for my mom's wedding band. >> reporter: the fire has also burned a local economy to its core where building after building of one of the nation's largest fruit cooperatives is
smoldering and in ruins. here along the fire lines, they are finally gaining some progress. now, when the fire first ripped through, it moved too fast. all they could do is fall back and protect structures. but today they are gaining ground. but across the west, over 100 large fires are burning out of control, triggering a level 5 alert for firefighters across the country, the highest alert possible. meaning all federal and some state call bringing in this 747 super tanker now standing by in colorado. in oregon, dozens of homes are completely gone, and families are reeling from their loss. idaho is experiencing massive firestorms burning over a quarter of a million acres. and california is still trying to get a handle on dozens of fires fueled by triple-digit temperatures and an historic drought. but for many in places like this, the damage to homes and livelihood is already done. now, fortunately there were no major injuries at this fire, but an idaho woman was killed as she fell during an evacuation. and we are just
getting breaking news out of southern california where a small plane crash has caused yet another wildfire near san diego. erica? >> just can't catch a break this season. gadi, thank you. tp isn't just the west battling these conditions. dylan? >> erica, we are in the middle of fire season right now. that lasts through october. and the ground has been very dry because of the recent drought. and we have had a lot of thunderstorms that produced the lightning without the rain. so that's been the source of these fires. and temperatures remain high. we have this ridge in the jet stream allowing the heat to build. also in the east coast. out west, it's hot and dry. temperatures have been up near record highs. and that will stick around through what looks like most of the week. as highs remain well above 100 degrees. even in las vegas, we'll remain 105 degrees for most of the week. now, in the northeast, not only is it hot, it's humid as well. temperatures are in the 90s.
we are well in the middle of a heat wave here. and your feels-like temperature in washington, d.c., close to 100 degrees. and this is something we are not going to get a whole lot of relief from this week. temperatures remain in the upper 80s and lower 90s. pittsburgh could dip down to about 82 by tuesday. but with that is a cold front that could trigger some storms. we'll keep an eye out for that by midweek. erica? >> dylan, thank you. overseas, a search is under way for an indonesian plane carrying more than 50 people. the flight lost contact today over remote area of the country. we get the latest from nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: it should have been a short flight on the twin turboprop plane, less than an hour. but tonight, families and coworkers are anxiously waiting for word. "we can only hope the people on board have survived," she said. on board the 27-year-old aircraft, 44 adults, 3 children, 2 babies, and 5 crew members. it took off from the
airport at 2:22 p.m. local time, bound for oksibil. at one point the pilot radios in that the visibility is too poor to land. it's the last communication. the flight never arrives. indonesia's head of air transportation told reporters that villagers spotted the plane. and that it had crashed 15 miles from its destination. into the mountains and dense jungle of eastern indonesia, an area known for low clouds and fog. to make matters worse, heavy rain and winds were moving through. but there was no distress call. >> if, in fact, they're in the side of a mountain, as is reported, they may not have recognized where they were, and that impact may have been as much a surprise to them as anything else. >> reporter: it's been a difficult two years for air safety in asia. in june, more than 100 were killed when a military plane crashed in sumatra, indonesia.
last december an airasia flight crashed into the sea killing 162. and investigators are still looking for answers in the crash of malaysian airlines mh370. the airline only flies in indonesia. and airline safety experts say it's had 14 serious incidents. severely damaging nine aircraft in crashes since 1992. no cause yet and no comments yet from the airline. erica, it's nearly daylight now in indonesia, and rescuers have a very tough task ahead in difficult terrain, trying to find the wreckage and possible survivors. >> kelly cobiella tonight for us. kelly, thank you. in china, authorities found more victims today in the city of tianjin. five days after explosions and fire destroyed a large part of the port area. officials put the death toll at 112 with 95 people still missing. most of them are firefighters. more than 720 people were injured. rescue workers are
still trying to clear any toxic chemicals that remain at the site. donald trump is offering some specifics this weekend about his agenda. especially his ideas for immigration. as he continues to dominate the political landscape. all but drowning out many of the other candidates in iowa this weekend. nbc's kelly o'donnell is there for us again tonight. kelly? >> reporter: good evening, erica. many people we met today are still eager to talk about donald trump, and the spectacle he brought here to the fairgrounds. like him or don't, trump represents a kind of candidate that is different this year and getting voters' attention. a season of the political outsiders. >> hello there. >> reporter: today a favorite among conservatives, retired neurosurgeon ben carson tapped into that sentiment. >> i get a lot of people who tell me that they've never voted before. they've never contributed to a campaign before.
>> reporter: cson is part of a non-politician wave, led by gop front-runner donald trump. the real estate mogul and reality star acknowledged his showman appeal today on "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> i mean, there is -- you know that some of the criticism, we all feel like we're -- are we in a reality show? >> no, this is not a reality. this is the real deal. >> reporter: the deal maker turned his business experience on the iran nuclear agreement. claiming unlike other republicans, he would keep it and find its flaws. >> but you have to abide by it. >> i would police that contract so tough that they don't have a chance. >> reporter: trump used his celebrity to re-ignite a national debate over illegal immigration. >> they're bringing crime, they're rapists. >> reporter: inside his self-named aircraft, trump said illegal immigrants must go home. >> you're going to keep them out? >> they have to go. >> reporter: new today, trump laid out his first campaign policy on the issue that propelled him, illegal immigration. trump's plan -- if mexico refuses to pay for a new border wall that he wants to
build, trump would impound all remittance payments so illegal immigrants could not send money home. increase fees on temporary visas for mexican ceos and diplomats. taking a hard line against what trump calls criminal aliens, mandatory return of all criminal aliens, and criminal penalties for individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visas expire. today, some voters here in iowa like trump's message. >> it's time somebody stand up and do something. >> reporter: others say trump's ideas are too hostile toward undocumented immigrants. >> i'm a poor american myself, but i'm still making it. and i think they have a right to come here and make it as well. >> reporter: could you see yourself voting for donald trump? >> of course. >> cast your kernel for the next president! >> reporter: and here, fairgoers are casting their kernels of iowa corn. with trump leading other republicans and hillary clinton at the top of the stack. tonight, advocacy groups for immigration reform that would
include legal citizenship say that trump's proposals are ugly and mean-spirited. erica? >> kelly o'donnell tonight, kelly, thank you. four days after jimmy carter told the world he has cancer, the former president surprised many this morning when he showed up for church services. nbc's hallie jackson is at the carter center in atlanta with more tonight. hallie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, erica. this is the first time the former president has spent time in public since announcing he has cancer. churchgoers described today's service at the baptist church as quiet and low key. president carter has been teaching sunday school there for years, although today he simply attended the worship session. he didn't make any public remarks. his niece tells me he looked really good today, and the church pastor adds "carter seemed as happy and as spirited as ever." the congregation prayed for president carter and we're learning that carter is still set to teach sunday school next week for the first time since revealing his cancer diagnosis. typically when carter teaches, some 300 people can attend. normally it's just a few dozen.
carter revealed wednesday he will be going through treatment here in the atlanta area for his cancer, although he has not said what kind it is. carter has written before about his family's battles with pancreatic cancer which killed his father, his three siblings. we expect to know more potentially as early as this coming week, erica. and in the meantime, folks here at the carter center are leaving notes, wishing the former president the best. erica? >> hallie jackson tonight in atlanta, thank you. the country lost one of its strongest voices for justice and equality this weekend. civil rights leader julian bond, the former head of the naacp, died in florida. more on his life tonight from nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: for many, julian bond was more than just a hero of the civil rights movement. he was a vital link to the past. >> like many of you, i was privileged to be here 50 years ago. and like many of you, i am the grandson of a slave. >> reporter: from his early college days, the tennessee native was out front at civil rights protests. when bond was elected
to the georgia state house in 1965, white legislators voted not to seat him because of his stance against the vietnam war. >> the right to free speech, the right to dissent, the right to voice an opinion that may be unpopular, but i think a second and equally as important issue is the right of people, in this case my constituents, to be represented by someone they chose. >> reporter: the supreme court agreed. >> fellow delegates, the people of america are watching us now. >> reporter: during the 1968 presidential election, bond became the first african-american proposed as a major party candidate for vice president. three years later, he co-founded the southern poverty law center with morris dees. >> i think that america's lost a real champion for the cause of justice, not only for african-americans but for all groups and people and individuals who were oppressed and discriminated against. >> reporter: bond was charismatic when hosting "saturday night live." >> how are things down there in the peach
state? >> the pits, mr. president. >> reporter: in the late '90s, bond was selected as chairman of the naacp where he continued his life's work. today, the king center tweeted "rest in power and thank you." while president obama called bond's widow, pamela. and in a statement remembered the man he called a hero and a friend. julian bond helped change this country for the better. and what better way to be remembered than that. julian bond was 75. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new york. when "nightly news" continues on this sunday, fighting isis online. how the u.s. is working to counter a powerful propaganda machine. and later, why a young doctor just can't stop dancing.
as we've seen in recent days, the u.s. is stepping up its fight against isis in syria and iraq. but the government is also waging a more pointed battle online to counter the powerful isis propaganda machine aimed at recruiting americans and others. it's a fight the u.s. has found it can't win alone as we hear from nbc's ayman mohyeldin. >> reporter: all it took to connect with what they thought were isis militants abroad was a social media account. but as the mississippi couple prepared to joint a flight to join isis, the fbi was waiting. they are just two of the dozens of americans and thousands around the world allegedly lured to isis through its slick online realtime propaganda. >> it's no longer the case that someone
who's troubled needs to find this propaganda and motivation. it buzzes in their pocket. so there is a device, almost a devil on their shoulder all day long saying kill, kill, kill, kill. >> reporter: on the battlefield online, the u.s. is fighting an uphill war against isis with tweets and hashtags that promote tolerance and moderation, a positive alternative to the lethal isis message. last month, the u.s. government and the united arab emirates launched an initiative trying to counter isis's plan to not only direct attacks but to inspire them. what has been the biggest challenge in waging this battle for ideas? >> one of the biggest challenges is mobilizing these credible voices, these real voices in the muslim world. >> reporter: it's not just governments taking the lead. on the walls of privately owned affinis labs in virginia, a reminder what's at stake. >> the vast majority of muslims in america are very well adjusted, but there's
still an idea of do i belong here? is my identity respected and appreciated? and we believe that this is a space for companies to address that need, and we see muslim entrepreneurs trying to do that. >> reporter: here they are investing in and developing apps that help young muslims grapple with issues like identity and religion. one of the start-ups it supports is a crowdfunding site called launch good which funds businesses and humanitarian projects developed by muslims. its founder, chris, converted to islam at 16 and understands the lure of groups like isis. >> if we can show our youth how to engage communities and engage the world around them in a healthy, productive, positive way, we can counter the effects of isis and their ability to steal our youth away. >> to me, those people are the answer. young muslim social media entrepreneurs, i'd put my money on them rather than anybody else. >> reporter: young american muslims may prove to be the u.s.'s best weapon against isis online. ayman mohyeldin, nbc news, washington. what happened when
some things just look better from space like this spectacular display of the northern lights appearing on the earth's horizon yesterday. just as the international space station zooms toward the sunrise. the video was shot by astronaut scott kelly who is nearly halfway through his year-long mission at the space station with clearly no shortage of entertainment. so perhaps not as much excitement when it comes to entertainment is one man in idaho who captured his own set of images of an unexpected visitor at his door. a bear. there he is. poking its head
through the cat door. and it turns out it wasn't the first encounter for these two. the bear was on the man's deck earlier in the day after getting inside the house the day before. clearly, he feels at home. his favorite movie is "forrest gump." and one of his favorite lines, "run, forrest, run." so it's perhaps no surprise that the film inspired 23-year-old barkley to do just that, all part of his effort to fight poverty around the world. he spent the last three months running more than 3,000 miles across the country. capping his journey in maine and raising more than $11,000 along the way. up next, another guy on the move for a good cause. you can call him the doctor of dance.
finally tonight, a young doctor in boston is on the move, not only in his job helping patients, but in his free time, raising money for charity in his own unique way. we caught up with him the other day as he made his rounds on the street. ♪ >> reporter: the scrubs may look like a costume for this street performer -- ♪ >> i am willing to dance pretty much to everything, as long as it has a strong beat. >> reporter: -- but they're actually a clue to this dancer's day job. this doctor is an anesthesiology center in boston. while medicine is a
passion, his love of dancing isn't far behind. >> i would say i'm an average to good dancer. i've not had any formal training. >> reporter: this past spring, he brought his moves, speakers and a hashtag, # doctorbedancing to the street. when passersby started leaving tips, the doctor realized it was yet another opportunity to give back. >> what i want to engage people in a way that makes them think, well, i like doing "x" thing. how can i use that thing to improve the world around me? >> reporter: all the money collected here goes directly to charity. more than $5,000 so far. >> good boy. >> reporter: benefiting various groups including the animal rescue league of boston and community serving which brings meals to the homebound and critically ill. more than 50 people have now been fed thanks to dr. kara's fancy footwork. >> it's amazing what one person can do when they're doing something fun and interesting. >> reporter: his impact is contagious.
>> i want to join in on this. here we go. >> reporter: thanks to a beat that's tough to ignore. >> dancing is fun and donating, it helps people. and so the combo of those two is just amazing. >> i feel like he's challenging me because he's saying dance with me. i love that. ♪ >> reporter: a reminder that helping others may be the best medicine of all. that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. lester holt will be here tomorrow. i'm erica hill reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, thanks for watching and good night. jamie wanted a taste of the real new orleans
and we just couldn't say no to that face. then we wanted more of that local flavor so betty says... oh yeah, that's betty. you're going to want to do this alligator thing. and betty didn't lead us wrong. a little later we passed some dancing. and who doesn't like dancing? especially when it's followed by fireworks
everyone's nola is different. follow yours. across the b area. but tt doesn stop giants . we're trackg recd-breakg right now at 6:00, record heat across the bay area, but that is not stopping giants fans. that's good thing, too. we are tracking record breaking temperatures right here in the bay. i'm peggy bunker. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. let's get outside to check out our top story. this, folks, right there, this is summer. hot temperatures across the bay area. on your left, downtown san francisco, hit the 90s today. yes, hot enough to shatter records. on your right, san jose, even hotter there, nearly reaching 100 degrees in some places. we have team coverage, nbc bay area's christie smith live at at&t park where fans sat and sweated and enjoyed every secd